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Teenager raising awareness of defibrillators

Max Young with the defibrilator and Health and Safety Co-ordinator Craig Watson at the Duchess's Community High School. Picture by Jane Coltman
Max Young with the defibrilator and Health and Safety Co-ordinator Craig Watson at the Duchess's Community High School. Picture by Jane Coltman

A student whose grandfather had heart problems has been instrumental in raising awareness about the use of his school’s defibrillator.

Max Young, 15, from Alnwick, has been working hard to promote the life-saving equipment at the Duchess’s Community High School.

He feels passionately about the issue and has helped to ensure that staff are trained and funds are raised for on-going maintenance.

Max said: “It is very important that schools have defibrillators, because research shows that about 270 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen to children each year.”

He said that the school has had a defibrillator for a number of years, but ‘very few’ people knew where it was following the move to the new site at Taylor Drive.

Thanks to Max’s efforts, the life-saving equipment is now visible for all to see.

He said: “We have now got a box on the wall in the main reception area and protocols have been written by myself to ensure the fastest but smoothest reaction if an event was to happen in school.

“When surveyed, only two members of staff knew where the defibrillator was in the new school site, but now, everyone who comes in the front doors knows where the unit is.”

Numerous members of staff have been trained on how to use the defibrillator, and Max is currently working on getting students and other staff members trained.

He is in charge of the defibrillator in school and he checks it on a regular basis.

The school also held a fund-raising event for the Defib Fund, which will supply things such as new batteries and new pads.

Max has spread the message by attending assemblies at other schools in the area.

He also praised The Stephen Carey Fund for its help and support.